Launch of Talking Newspaper Friends

Launch of Talking Newspaper Friends

The West Shropshire Talking Newspaper (WSTN) has launched a Friends group for people who would like to support this local charity, but who are not able to take part as hands-on volunteers. At a special event in the Roy Fletcher Centre, Shrewsbury on 6 June 2019  chairman Peter Waller welcomed some of the first Friends who have signed up with standing order donations. He thanked them for their contributions which he said were making a valuable contribution to help offset the annual running costs of around £11,000 a year.The new Friends of the West Shropshire Talking Newspaper were also able to meet members of the charity's committee of Trustees while chatting over refreshments.

At the meeting they heard a detailed explanation of the service from long serving volunteers Alan and Susan Wilding, both of whom have been working for the charity for over 40 years.  Extracts from the current week's recording, presented by Alan, were played and the back story of the various production processes for each of the 12 tracks was explained by Susan.

The weekly free service is for people who cannot read printed newspapers and it provides an easy-to-listen-to, 90-minute, digest of news, information and features, including What's Ons, Nature, Recipes, Gardening, Sport and Women's Clubs.. One of the new Friends complimented the volunteers and said how impressed she was with the all the careful planning and detailed work which goes into each issue of the talking newspaper. Some Friends offered to help with the WSTN's forthcoming supermarket and street collections.

WSTN Chairman Peter Waller thanked Alan and Susan Wilding for their work in getting the new group of Friends up and running and said he hoped more people would now join.

During the evening the new Friends moved to another part of the building to take a look around the dedicated recording studio and associated production facilities which have recently been upgraded with encrypted data protection and cloud storage of listeners' details. The various recording and production routines were explained before Friends gathered around the studio reading table for a souvenir photograph..

Anyone interested in becoming a Friend can download a standing order form from the charity's website: or leave a message on the organisation’s answerphone, 01743 364726. Potential listeners can use the same contact number and also listen to the programme via the website.

Future Friends of the WSTN will also have an opportunity to visit the studio, attend social events and will also receive updates on the service.

The West Shropshire Talking Newspaper provides a free recorded paper each week on USB memory sticks via Royal Mail, as well as online by visiting: It can also be heard on the telephone (01743 387487), on an app (Talking Newspapers), on Sonata internet radio and through Amazon’s Alexa.